Monday, July 2, 2012

To Haunt or Not To Haunt...

It's been awhile. A long while. I can't say that the months since Halloween or even Christmas have been easy ones for us. I'm not going to bore you with the dreary details, but suffice it to say that we are considering retiring Darkrose Manor. At least this year. At least it wouldn't be to the scale that we have been creating the last few years. Minimalist and simple. Maybe a few props from years past and an evening of sitting on the porch handing out candy like 'normal' folk. It would be a revisitation of our first year doing just that.

I always thought that we would haunt no matter what. That lack of time, lack of money or even lack of good health wouldn't stop us. We just loved doing it and that was why we did it. Even the nay-sayers or those inevitable crappy, trying to look cool to their friends, teenagers that specifically walk by complaining about how 'this sucks' or 'this isn't scary' couldn't stop us because we've always fantasized that those are the ones that would return home only to have nightmares.

I have been over the video clips from 2011 and once again found myself dragging my feet to put it together. I'm not sure if that was simple procrastination due to the other every day struggles for time or that the very thought somehow meant that I didn't love the haunt any longer. I'm still trying to nail that one down.

I've spent most of this morning rummaging through photos and some of my favorite blogs primarily Halloween related. Rot is always my first stop, and I spent hours back-tracking through the months of posts on his blog that I'd neglected to visit. As I was doing so, I couldn't help but feel that familiar increase in excitement as each page passed by celebrating all things Halloween. The props, the music, the videos, the words, toss in a little spanish moss and fog - and suddenly I want to start brainstorming this year's display. Or even finish editing 2011's video.

I don't know if this means that we will do anything on the scale on the last few years or if it's just a fleeting moment of nostalgia. But I do know this...

...I can't pretend that Halloween isn't approaching, even in the breath-stealing heat of this particular Colorado summer. I can't pretend that the thought of crunching leaves and cooler evenings won't remind me that time is a-wasting.

We'll see.


  1. I feel the same way man. People from our haunt crew slowly fell away due to work, illness, and family issues. Now its left to a few people who are stretched so thin between what time they have and money they can spend that it seems like this might be our last haunt as well. I can't imagine Halloween without building a haunt, but when I think of all the work it will take it sure makes my tired.

  2. Agreed, Devil's Chariot. My brain hurts. (Have always loved your Carnival - you're one of the best at the theme.) We've just spent so much cash and time the last few years that we can't help but wonder that if we sat this year out that maybe we might actually take a vacation instead, or take the honeymoon that we never had. Of course, even those thoughts don't change the desire in any true haunter's heart - the desire to build, to detail, and to play on Halloween. Thanks for your thoughts - it's good to know we're not alone. Maybe we'll just take all those old props and turn our basement into a dungeon for the kids that decide to TP the house when they discover there might not be a haunt this year. ;-)

  3. I think there are times of the year, most notably the peak of Summer's heat, when it is difficult to think of doing any more work. Yet when the days begin to grow shorter, the weather cools, and I begin to notice the shadows of the Fall even before the leaves are in full change, thats when I get excited about the possibilities for the year's haunt. It would be sad to see yet another amazing
    haunt retire... Hopefully your year will get better...

  4. Don't be afraid to step back and take a more minimal approach. You've very obviously tapped into the 'organic' look with your 2010 haunt (leaves and vines and moss and branches and debris). To me, that is one of the most important aspects of a haunt. With your eye for detail and natural elements, I'm sure you could pull off a stunning display of only jack o'lanterns and 'debris'. Traditional, organic and creepy. It'd be awesome.

  5. Thank you, Marrow. We've just recently noticed some of your kind comments over on the forums. We are truly grateful for your appreciation of our work. While we aren't necessarily afraid of the minimal approach, my hubs and I tend to fall more on the side of 'go big or go home'. We both fear something of an uprising if we don't get bigger and badder every year. It is a fickle audience, after all. Although, the last few days we've been brainstorming an idea that might actually allow us to continue this year, if all goes well. Again, we'll see... I guess we just can't truly ever put DRM to bed. ;-)

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